Jul. 7th, 2017

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A little while ago, I heard the Slava from Leoš Janáček's Glagolitic Mass on R3 Breakfast and was utterly smitten. I think it was a combination of the dazzling solo singing and dazzling last bars of the section where the shouts of amen! from the chorus alternate with great outbursts sounds from the orchestral brass and the organ that really got me.

It turned out that the recording I liked so much was from Norway: Ed Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. The quartet of soloists were every bit as top notch — Sara Jacubiak, Susan Bickley, Stuart Skelton, and Gábor Bretz — with Thomas Trotter adding sparkle via the obligato organ part. (The sound blend is superb despite, or maybe even because, the orchestra and choir were recorded in Grieghallen while Trotter was recorded separately in Bergen Cathedral)

The couplings on the recording are also well worth having: Adagio for orchestra; and the choral pieces Zdrávas Maria and Otče náš. All in all, a delightful discovery; although not, I'm sure, for my neighbours...

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